Old Kenyon Fire

On the day I was born, fortress-like Old Kenyon on the campus of Kenyon College burned, taking the lives of nine students. Lee Schermerhorn, a student at the time, captured motion pictures of the fire. A version of that film, and other film Schermerhorn shot before and after the fire, is available on the Kenyon College website. (Lower-bandwidth page here.)

This is an incredible document, and a terrific use of the multimedia capabilities of the web to preserve and communicate history. Farther down the page, librarian Tom House makes a plea for Kenyon alumni to help recover and preserve more recordings–film, sound, tape, whatever–in this manner. That effort should not be restricted to Kenyon….

Along the same lines, but far less impressive, is a link my sister sent yesterday to a site called Vanished Kalamazoo.

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